Park Street Academy (PSA), a private pre-school and kindergarten located in Montclair, NJ has tapped School of Rock Montclair General Manager Kevin March to introduce students to the wild world of rock music. School of Rock is a program that helps young and aspiring musicians define themselves and develop the tools they need to rock their worlds… and ours. Typical School of Rock programming starts in kindergarten, and this unique partnership allows PSA students a sneak peek into the world of rhythm, tempo and composition drawn from influences including The Beatles, Queen and The Clash.
The school year kicked off with “We will Rock You” and a rhythmic lesson called “Musical Pizza” – a technique March uses to teach kids about the most important ingredients in music. Later, PSA students learned how to use a rest, or no sound, in music by listening to “We are Family” by Sister Sledge. Lessons also focused on community in music and in life, by learning to work together playing different notes at the same time in order to create a harmony. Because, according to March, “Everything is cool when you are part of a team!” PSA Seniors were also amazed to find out that Mozart was only four-years-old when he wrote his first sonata (solo piece of music) for piano.
“We’ve taught a wide variety of music classes at PSA over the years, and it’s so exciting to see our older students responding to Mr. Kevin and the music in such a positive way,” explains Lisa Raphael, Director of Park Street Academy. “The children are eager to learn about the musicians, the elements of each song and – of course – to rock out using the instruments they always have with them: their hands and feet to clap and stomp to the rhythm and their voices to sing the melody. He’s really tailored the program to get our students excited and engaged with the fundamentals of rock ‘n’ roll.”
This spring, March is continuing teaching music fundamentals using songs from artists like David Bowie and the Rolling Stones to highlight each lesson. He will also introduce PSA students to the elements that make genres such as jazz and folk music so unique.
“No matter what your age or background, there’s something so fundamental about a great beat. The kids feel it and understand it almost instinctively,” notes March. “It’s so much fun to be able to introduce PSA students to the fundamentals of music and to see them rock out to legends that their parents and grandparents enjoy. No matter what, music brings people together!”